The economic stimulus package that President Obama signed last month provides $20 billion for investment in a greener economy. Of that, $500 million will fund training programs for green jobs, which include building a new power grid, manufacturing solar panels, weatherizing homes and office buildings, and renovating schools.
American workers are ready for green jobs. Photo courtesy Green For All.
In an op-ed piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Vice President Biden wrote that funding green jobs would pay more—on average, 10 to 20 percent more than similar jobs in traditional employment sectors.
Biden also points out that a greener nation would mean fewer expenses for Americans. Weatherizing homes could decrease heating and electricity bills by 20 to 40 percent. A cleaner environment could mean healthier families and fewer health costs.
Vice President Biden isn’t alone in campaigning for green jobs. In 2007, Van Jones, a California-based lawyer, launched the advocacy group Green For All, which works to create new jobs with an environmental focus. Jones campaigned for the 2007 Green Jobs Act, which provides grants for training in eco-friendly trades, and he’s also worked with his local government to secure funding for similar programs in Oakland.
“If we shut down pollution-spewing power plants and shift to renewable energy, what happens? We reduce asthma,” Jones told Natural Home last year. “If we reduce asthma, we cut expenses. If one kid with asthma doesn’t have health care, it costs the family about $10,000 a year in inhalers, lost wages and ER visits. That means if you clean up the air with renewable energy, you put $10,000 per kid per year back into the pockets of poor people.”
We like the sound of that.
Learn how to land green jobs.